PROJECT POST: Amanda’s Victorian Settee, Part 2

7 Mar

After taking off the velvet, I removed a bajillion more tacks to get the muslin off. Then removed the cotton padding, and horsehair padding to reveal the inner structure of the settee. This is when the problems started to become apparent. As you can see, there’s really not a whole lot to the structure of the settee. A previous owner had reinforced the seat with seat with steal bars and wood blocks, but there was a break in the front. Also, the wood edges that I had to staple the upholstery to were full of holes and falling apart. The frame would need a lot of work before I could begin to reupholster it.

The close-up above illustrates the condition of the wood, and the effects of the previous repairs on the frame. This is the bottom edge of the center front of the settee seat.

Before we could start repairing the frame, I had to measure the height of the springs, and remove them, along with the roll of horsehair padding along the outer edge of the seat, and the two layers of webbing underneath the seat.

This shows the reinforcements and repairs. The newer wood and metal brace in the seat were added by a previous repairer. The white stuff is where I had to rebuild the damaged wood that the upholstery would be anchored too. Before adding the putty, I went over all the damaged wood with wood hardener. Donna glued the two pieces of wood shown here strapped to the frame, and then used wood screws to anchor them into the frame and reinforce the curve of the seat.

I brought the frame home over Thanksgiving break to finish filling in the damaged spots in the frame, smooth the exterior damage with wood putty, fill in earlier nail and tack holes with a mixture of wood glue and sawdust, and, finally, to paint over the whole thing so none of those repairs would show. The photo above shows the settee all primered and ready for a couple of coats of glossy black paint.

In Part 3, the painting…

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